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Building Official Notes

Higginsville Board of Aldermen Adopts 2021 International Codes

The Higginsville Board of Aldermen voted unanimously to adopt the 2021 International Family of Construction Codes at its regular meeting on Monday, August 15, 2022.
The codes adopted include the Building Code, Residential Code, Fire Code, Plumbing Code, Mechanical Code, Fuel Gas Code, Property Maintenance Code, Private Sewage Disposal Code, Swimming Pool and Spa Code, Existing Building Code, the 2020 National Electric Code, and the 2009 Energy Conservation Code.  All of these were adopted with local amendments.
The new codes took effect Monday, August 15, 2022,  and apply to all new building projects permitted after that date.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are the required dimensions of a window well for emergency escape and rescue in a basement?
A: Area Wells:  An emergency escape and rescue opening where the bottom of the clear opening is below the adjacent grade, shall be provided as follows:

Minimum size: Not less than 9 square feet, with a horizontal projection of not less than 36 inches.  The size of the well shall allow the emergency escape and rescue opening to be fully opened. (min. 20 inches wide opening and min. 24 inches high opening) Exception:  the ladder or steps required shall be permitted to encroach no more than 6 inches into the required dimension of the area well.

Ladder and steps:  Area wells with a vertical depth greater than 44 inches shall be equipped with an approved, permanently affixed ladder or steps.  The ladder or steps shall not be obstructed by the emergency escape and rescue opening where the window or door is in the open position. 

Q:  Where are smoke and carbon monoxide alarms required in dwelling units?

 A: Smoke detector location requirements:
  • In each sleeping room.
  • Outside each separate sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms.
  • On each additional story of the dwelling, including basements and habitable attics, and not including crawl spaces and uninhabitable attics.
  • Not less than 3 feet horizontally from the door or opening of a bathroom that contains a bathtub or shower, unless this would prevent placement of a required smoke alarm.
  • Not within 3 feet of a heat register.
  • In the hallway, and in the room open to the hallway to dwelling units where the ceiling height of a room open to a hallway serving bedrooms exceeds that of the hallway 24 inches or more.

   Carbon Monoxide Alarm location requirements

  • Carbon monoxide alarms in dwelling units shall be installed outside of each separate sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms.  Where a fuel burning appliance is located within a bedroom, or its attached bathroom, a carbon monoxide alarm shall be installed within the bedroom.
  • In new construction, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are required to be hard-wired and interconnected.  Certain types of remodeling/home improvements require smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors  to comply with the above information.

Q: What are the fence requirements for above-ground residential swimming pools?

Any swimming pool with a water level deeper than 24 inches must have a fence surrounding it that is at least 48 inches in height, measured from the outside of the fence. Maximum distance between the bottom of the fence and ground is 2 inches.  Construction fencing is not permitted to be used as a fence around an above-ground pool.   If the pool is a solid- sided structure with a pool wall height of at least 48 inches, it does not have to have a fence around it. However, the ladder used to access the pool is required to be stored away from the pool when the pool is unattended/not in use.